David Beckham has avoided being prosecuted over a speeding charge on a technicality. Beckham was accused of driving at the speed of 59mph in a 40mph zone whilst driving a loaned car.
Mr Beckham enlisted the services of celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman, a man also known as Mr Loophole – a name he spent £20,000 to trademark in 2008, to defend his case. Freeman gained the nickname amongst the legal and media communities due to the fact that his signature move is to look for technicalities or loopholes to avoid prosecution on behalf of his celebrity clients. Freeman’s clients have been the likes of Charlotte Crosby, Jeremy Clarkson, Paddy McGuinness and Beckham’s former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Beckham admitted to driving at the speed he was accused of however he’s not set to face action. The loophole found in this case was that the notice of intended prosecution (NIP) was received by Bentley Motors Ltd, the owners of the loaned vehicle, one day after the 14-day time limit. The Judge therefore accepted the fact that since the ticket had arrived late, there were no grounds to convict Beckham.
Though Beckham did not attend the trial which took place on Thursday at the Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court his lawyer did tell reporters that Beckham was “very relived with the verdict and very happy with his legal team”.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Freeman and Beckham’s paths had crossed. It was Freeman who had argued the case that allowed Beckham’s 1999 8 month driving ban to be overturned by claiming that the footballer was attempting to get away from a paparazzi photographer.
This worrying pattern of behaviour from Beckham and his fellow celebrities has led to a call for accountability from the directors of campaigns Brake and the Safe Speed Campaign. They’ve expressed their disappointment in Beckham as he’s a role model for many other people and the clear contrast between how these situations are dealt when dealing with people with sufficient sums of money and those without.
Whilst some are shocked from what seems to be a lack of growth between the David Beckham of 1999 and the David Beckham of 2018, no one seems to be shocked by the behaviour of Mr Freeman.
Freeman who on Friday described his career as “better than sex” has often enjoyed media attention, not just for his clients’ sake but also for his own. From the fact that the lawyer known for getting celebrities off of their driving offences, was pulled over and fined £60 for failing to renew the MOT on his £200k Bentley to the fact that he refused to represent his own daughter in court when she was given a speeding ticket for doing 63mph in a 50mph zone as he wanted to teach her a lesson.
Adding insult to injury after his victory with David Beckham, Mr Loophole went on to the BBC’s today programme to say that from a “moral standpoint” Beckham should have been found guilty. He said, “Anyone who accepts that they were the driver and they were speeding, you would think in the normal course from a moral standpoint they should be convicted” and also stated that if more drivers are to be convicted of their crimes then “what parliament needs to do is it needs to change the law”.
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